From Granada to Iași

WIRE X 2019 will take advantage of the achievements of the previous WIRE conferences. The Week of Innovative Regions in Europe conferences are among the main European policy fora for innovation and regional development. Since 2010 they have been gathering on an annual basis, stakeholders from the research and innovation sector, in particular: EU policy makers, regional and national authorities, representatives of knowledge institutes, cluster organisations. Also, other innovation intermediaries, innovative companies, as well as all other stakeholders supporting the growth of innovativeness from a regional and urban perspective.

WIRE I – Granada (ES), 2010

The first of the Week of Innovative Regions in Europe conferences (WIRE I) was organised in Granada as part of the 2010 Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It was funded thanks to the FP7 “Regions of Knowledge” Work Programme. WIRE I looked for greater synergies between European Union and Member State actions focusing on the priorities of the EU 2020 Strategy, its headline targets, and the European Research Area. The main event of WIRE I focused on the efficient and effective use of the resources devoted to research and development, especially the Structural Funds and their potential synergies with the EU Framework Programme (FP7) and the Innovation and Competitiveness Framework Programme (CIP).

WIRE II – Debrecen (HU), 2011

The WIRE II took place in 2011 in Debrecen as part of the Hungarian Presidency. It focused on clusters, economic development of regions and regional R&D infrastructure, as well as synergies between the Framework Programme, Structural Funds and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme aiming at supporting smart growth in the regions. It was funded by the “Regions of Knowledge” Programme in close cooperation with the European Commission DG RTD unit responsible for research infrastructures.

WIRE III – Krakow (PL), 2012

The WIRE III took place in 2012 in Krakow just after the first Polish EU Presidency (during the Danish EU Presidency) and concentrated on regional innovation ecosystems in Horizon 2020, the future regional dimension of research and innovation, synergies of funds, networking for European Territorial Cooperation and smart specialisation of both convergence regions and Centres of Excellence. The conference called for innovation to be a key central theme within all regional policymaking, in public investment programmes and particularly in public procurement.

WIRE IV – Cork (IE), 2013

The WIRE IV took place in 2013 in Cork under the auspices of the Irish EU Presidency and strengthening research, technological development and innovation; enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs); promoting employment and supporting labour mobility; investing in education, skills and lifelong learning; and enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration.

WIRE V – Athens (HE), 2014

The WIRE V was organised in Athens in 2014 under the auspices of the Greek EU Presidency. The conference took place at a time when the EU was adopting a new perspective on regional policy, one which focuses on the concept of Smart Specialisation and the facilitation of a results- oriented policy agenda. EU reformed cohesion policy 2014-2020 reflected a growing need to respond effectively to the conditions created by the economic turndown and sought to ensure maximum impact on growth and jobs, investing in all EU regions and targeting resources at key growth sectors.

WIRE VI – Riga (LV), 2015

The WIRE VI was organised in Riga in 2015 under the auspices of the Latvian EU Presidency. It focused on innovation driven growth as a major objective of the post-crisis recovery. The conference underlined the recognition of policy makers of the roles that regions play in cultivating, attracting and retaining innovative human capital. Furthermore WIRE VI focused on the key challenges for regions from programme to implementation, on the innovation divide and on overcoming the barriers to innovation and stimulating regional strategies.

WIRE VII – Brainport Eindhoven Region (NL), 2016

The WIRE VII conference was held in the Brainport Eindhoven Region in the Province of North Brabant in the Netherlands. The conference was listed as an associate event during the Dutch EU Presidency in the first semester of 2016. The Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands has identified and scheduled 7 conferences throughout the EU Presidency focussing on the Research & Innovation theme, of which WIRE VII was a prime event to showcase and embrace the Dutch innovation capacity through the Brainport Eindhoven Region.

WIRE VIII – Kosice (SK), 2017

WIRE VIII was organised during a politically important semester, the one during which the evaluation of FP7 was formally adopted and during which, consequently, future thinking and action on Horizon 2020 and its successor were shaped (including the preparation of H2020’s mid-term review). The sharing of good practices and the common thinking on removing remaining bottlenecks to success, as operated during WIRE conferences, is a supportive action to disseminate knowledge and to simplify access to it, as proclaimed in the EC’s 2016 Work Programme.

WIRE IX – Innsbruck (AT), 2018

WIRE IX was organised in Tyrol region of Austria. The 9th edition of the WIRE conference has focused into three smart choices for regional ecosystems of innovation: Science & Research, Entrepreneurship and Connectivity. WIRE IX contributed largely to the important task for all potential actors in H2020’s WPs to network and be connected, spread research and innovation excellence and connect regions and people.